This weekend we celebrate Mother’s Day with flowers, cards and a day of recognition of all the little things (and big things) moms do from the day we are born to the present.
As a single mom, I can tell you I’ve never really felt “singled out,” mainly because I’ve always had the love and support of my own mother, my sisters, my grandmother and my dearest girl friends through the dozen years I’ve been a parent.
Sure there were times I wasn’t exactly the “Mom of the Year.” There were and are still times I put work or my own life first, which wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t have this wonderful group of people helping me along the way.
Being a single mom isn’t a struggle for me because I have these amazing people on speed dial and who are willing to help me when I need it most whether it’s picking up Evan after school, or just venting with a phone call about aggravating teachers or bullies or the stunt Evan pulled that week.
There will be many more “stunts” along the way. I’m fairly certain the school principal will have my cell phone number memorized in the coming years.
And I now know how my own mother felt when she was blindsided by my very own “stunts.”
I know I wasn’t a bad kid, but I was mischievous and ornery and wasn’t afraid of getting into trouble once in awhile.
I’d like to say I kept things interesting. My mother would probably like to disagree. I was grounded a lot, which kind of backfired because if I was going to get grounded I was going to make sure it was worth it.
In fact, at a recent birthday party, my childhood best friends’ parents and sister reminded us of all the trouble we got into as children.
Like the time we tied bed sheets to repel down from the second story bedroom window. For fun.
Like the time we used a twin mattress to slide down the staircase to the kitchen. For fun.
Like the time we read every single love note in her sister’s secret hiding place, which really wasn’t so secret. For fun. And to see what junior high girls talked about since we were lowly grade schoolers.
The list goes on and on and on — and that was just in elementary school. I’ll leave the antics out of junior high and high school for another day.
There’s been a recent phenomenon, which has been dubbed “The Mommy Wars” spawned by the judgment and egged on by social media.
It’s where mothers judge other mothers for their parenting style and choices ranging from the stay-at-moms to working mothers to the classic formula versus breast feeding and the list goes on and on all the way up to college and career choices.
I’m so glad I’m been out of the infant stages of life, but the judgment goes well into the tween years with sports and extra-curricular activity lists a mile long.
Plus, with the new element of technology in our children’s hands there will be a new world to navigate, but I’m sure we’ll do our best. Detoxing an 11 year old from Mindcraft was a challenge at first, but now he’s found there are more interesting apps out there. And, I don’t have to hear about the “Netherworld” or whatever it’s called all day long. But I will worry about texting, message apps and inappropriate Google searches and pine for the days of pixeled green monsters and caves.
There are no perfect parents, there are no perfect children. If we simply try to do our best and take each day as it comes I think we’ll do alright.
There’s always room for improvement. There are many things I hope to improve during this next phase of parenting a tween into a teen and off to the adult world. I hope to find a smidge of interest in “Star Wars,” or at least listen to the soundtrack together. I hope to pick up the game of golf (I can hit it straight, but not far) so we can play it together on a warm sunny day.
I am proud of lots of things Evan has accomplished. He loves to read. He can build some sort of “Star Wars” water craft from scratch. He can make his own sandwich. He can cook his own pizza and snacks using an oven. I know that sounds odd, but I know a lot of 12 year old who can’t pick up a butter knife without their parents freaking out.
My Mother’s Day wish is that I hope this “Mommy War” zone will clear and we’ll drop the judgment of one another. Our kids are going to be alright … if we simply try to do our best and take each day as it comes.
As for my Mother’s Day plans, I’ll be out on the golf course with my son who will be teaching me how to gamble on a par 4.
“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. She hit the pin on a par 3 once. She has witnesses to prove it!